Daniel Van Gerpen

Documenting the Narrative

Each piece that is created is a narrative of my experiences, my recollections of nature and my memoir of my interaction with a place, person, or idea. I am constantly fascinated by processes and how things develop to their current states. To think about all of the processes involved in creating a wind beaten barn with striped paint and a slight lean is a matter of poetry within itself. Similar processes are what develop a weathered face and callused hands. The constant ebb and flow from new to old is a dynamic activity that is in constant motion creating objects and people with deep character and history. This interaction and constant state of fluctuation creates an interesting tension that resembles a dance. 

I attempt to interpret the landscape, both wild and civilized, in a manner that simplifies the idea in an attempt to better understand it. In simplifying my idea I am expecting more from the viewer. The viewer is asked to take these images and draw a connection to their own experiences. Within the simplicity, though, lies a complexity. The complexity being the layers. I am fascinated by layers of medium, both thick and thin. Each layer references the previous but also states its claim for its own presence. This process is similar to the weathering process. The end result is simplification through process.

Through countless hours of observation and endless drives and walks through the countryside I have developed a great appreciation for the land and for the people. My inspiration comes from actual experiences as well as internal visions. During my time creating I have gained a greater understanding of the processes and ideas of creating art. One of the things that I learned was to paint what you know. Another is to paint what you do not know so that you can better understand it. Both of these techniques have influenced my ideas and my vision. 

I received a degree in art from the University of South Dakota. I have been a part of several galleries in South Dakota, Salinas, Monterey and Carmel, CA. I currently reside in Fresno, CA.

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